The Nigeria Medical Association, Oyo State chapter, has condemned the Federal Government directive, which suspended all resident doctors programme and sacked about 16,000 doctors in the country as the strike embarked upon by doctors reached one and a half months.
Last week Wednesday, the FG released a statement through the Deputy Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Isiaka Yusuf, saying that the sacking option was necessary after all avenue to end the strike failed.
Chairman of NMA in Oyo State, Dr. Muideen Olatunji, said the FG’s action was condemnable as it reflected traits of bad governance.
After the doctors held a meeting in Ibadan on Monday, Olatunji said the house resolved that no doctor should collect the alleged sack letter or sign any register from the government, adding that none of its members will apply or take up any position declared vacant by the FG. He however said that the doctors would continue to provide emergency services especially with the outbreak of Ebola disease in the country.
He said, “We are confronting a deadly epidemic with high contagious capacity and the only institution so designed to confront it is being decimated by the Federal Government. We see this policy as abnormal which does not give a good account of good leadership.
“NMA in Oyo State condemns in totality the alleged Presidential directive through the Ministry of Health, which suspends residency training programme in Nigeria. We demand the withdrawal of the suspension circular and unconditional reinstatement of the so-called sacked resident doctors.
A communiqué made available at the end of the meeting urged government to show commitment on its part to solve the current impasse with the NMA, rather than resulting to punitive measure.
“NMA shall resist by all means any attempt by the FG to break its rank as an association. Rather than abolishing residency training programme, government should show commitment to improving the already poorly funded programme. It should improve on the nation’s health facility with the view to discouraging medical tourism abroad,” the communiqué said in part.
“NMA believes that the current government position will further worsen industrial harmony. In the light of the above, NMA hereby directs that no doctor should adopt or collect any sack letter or any register opened by the government or its agents in any of the hospitals.
“For the avoidance of doubt, no medical doctor, no matter how hungry should pick up any appointment with the government hospital as directed by the said circular. Any doctor who ignores this directive does so at his or her own peril. What we are fighting for is for the good of the nation and not for the doctors’ personal benefit,” the communiqué added.
The doctors also resolved that all its members remain committed towards containing the Ebola outbreak.
“The Oyo State chapter has already constituted a response team and we are in league with the state government on how to manage the situation if perhaps it comes into the state. We urge anyone who is under surveillance to remain where they are instead of travelling to other places.”